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To think Call the Midwife is too depressing

(287 Posts)
jewelledsky Sun 24-Feb-13 20:03:18

for a Sunday night and to almost be tempted by Top Gear as a light viewing alternative? Where is Downton Abbey?

somewherewest Sun 24-Feb-13 20:21:58

Haven't seen the TV series but I read the books when DS was a baby and they are harrowing (and made me very thankful that we now have the NHS and the benefits system, even if they're both far from perfect).

Alittlestranger Sun 24-Feb-13 20:25:39

YABU, it's a damn sight less depressing then what's going on in the real world.

Smartiepants79 Sun 24-Feb-13 20:25:52

Depressing? hmm I always find it to be pretty feel god viewing!

It certainly isn't anywhere near depressing enough to make me want to watch Top Gear...

SirBoobAlot Sun 24-Feb-13 20:28:02

It's realistic. The sad moments are countered with happy ones. I love it. Very well done series.

I read this week's in the book and swore I'd never read that chapter again.
On TV it's nowhere near as bad.

KB02 Sun 24-Feb-13 20:30:04

Oh dear, I've recorded it and after these comments now I don't want to watch it !

Lighthousekeeping Sun 24-Feb-13 20:31:00

I never think the second series of anything lives up to the first so, I haven't been bothered about watching it.

Fairylea Sun 24-Feb-13 20:31:08

It's meant to be realistic. Life was pretty grim for poorer people in the 1950s. (Cameron is trying to return us to that era now I think !)

I love the programme. And it's an interesting history lesson for dd.

BrianCoxandTheTempleofDOOM Sun 24-Feb-13 20:33:07

Ah, at last, I'm not the only one with a downer on CTM.

My mum recommended it to me as light Sunday evening viewing that both me and DD (9) would love.

So I sat down to watch it. Didn't "get" it, but no problems as it was light enough for me to ignore while DD watched go on Mumsnet

Then I started to pay attention as DD started asking questions about domestic violence, contraception, still birth etc etc.

I could strangle my bloody mother!! Luckily I was able to answer DD's questions as best as I could and that was that - but I don't really want to have to sit there on a Sunday night and explain how some people don't want to get pregnant and that in the 1950's contraception was fairly new and well, it had a lot to do with social change and.....(decided to stick to the easier option of if a lady doesn't want to get pregnant she takes a tablet that stops the sperm and egg meeting)

As much as it isnt for me, program/entertainment wise, people do keep telling me how bloody marvelous it is and look at me like I'm some sort of bunny-stabbing, kitten worrier!

plantsitter Sun 24-Feb-13 20:35:26

It's depressing that Antiques Roadshow has gone to make room for it sad (AR dweeb emoticon).

IneedAgoldenNickname Sun 24-Feb-13 20:41:05

It makes me grateful that we no longer live like that, that contraception amass pain relief are readily available.

somewherewest they had the nhs at the time ctm is set too grin

minouminou Sun 24-Feb-13 20:44:43

I always end up a bit teary at the end of each episode because it feels like a love letter to the NHS.
Part of me wishes we could go back to those days.....weird as it seems.

I read the books and sobbed at certain parts, and have never watched it on the TV as I find that a programme makes things much more "real" to me and is more upsetting iyswim.
It's like I can read horror novels, or zombies or something and be OK, but I cannot watch a horror film or I have nightmares. I knew I wouldn't be able to watch CTM without getting all upset at the sad parts.

BrianCoxandTheTempleofDOOM Sun 24-Feb-13 20:48:54

What does amaze me is that this program is set in the decade that my parents were born - so watching it makes you realise how far things have come in such a short period of time.

However, it still ain't worthy of my viewing is watching Top Gear instead watches in horror as I get deleted from MN

SoleSource Sun 24-Feb-13 20:49:45

Real life is.

Scheherezade Sun 24-Feb-13 20:55:40

Yanbu I saw the Christmas episode and refused to watch any more!

Scheherezade Sun 24-Feb-13 20:56:10

Yanbu I saw the Christmas episode and refused to watch any more!

Sirzy Sun 24-Feb-13 20:58:45

I love it, it seems to have a balance between the nice and the nasty and it shows how far things have come in a relatively short time.

It makes me feel pretty grateful too.

My Mum was born in the year that this was set in, and even though my Nan has told me some pretty eye-raising stories about how things were for her, to see it in context really just makes me thankful for how good we have it now.

I can't believe this was less than 60 years ago!

MintVelvet1937 Sun 24-Feb-13 21:00:31

I always thought it was light entertainment handling real issues in a non melodramatic way. As for the posters who are saying they are thankful for the nhs, this programme shows a time when the nhs was in existence. All the midwives and doctors are part of the nhs and the treatment these women were getting was all free. If you want harrowing, try looking at something that is properly pre nhs, ie, before 1948. If you couldnt afford a midwife then, you didnt get one. Had to make do with your mom, or other females around.

Iactuallydothinkso Sun 24-Feb-13 21:09:28

It makes me incredibly grateful that I was born into a world where pain relief and social housing and benefits are available for those that need it.

It is sad viewing sometimes but especially last week I thought that even though I have never been in the position of wanting or needing to terminate a pregnancy, at least it would be available and I wouldn't be butchered in the process.

My mum was the oldest of 12 children living in 2 rooms in a country where the nhs did not exist. She's only in her early sixties. It really wasn't that long ago.

I dare say in another fifty years time, people will look back and think we had it bad which is weird!

firesidechat Sun 24-Feb-13 21:14:55

Are we watching the same programme OP? I find it lovely and uplifting and yes sometimes sad things happen. The word heartwarming comes to mind rather than depressing. Perfect Sunday night viewing and I love it.

Adversecamber Sun 24-Feb-13 21:18:46

The Christmas episode was especially harrowing, when the Nuns were bathing the poor old lady that had been in the workhouse. One of DH great great Grandmothers died in the workhouse, he discovered this when researching his family tree. It was a bit of a horrible shock.

I think series like this do a service because it shows how grim life was without free contraception.

McNewPants2013 Sun 24-Feb-13 21:27:13

I love CTMW, last week episode with the botched abortion was hard to watch but in those time that's what women faced.

When I watched that I thought to myself there are still women in the world still having back street abortion, which I found very heart wrenching

ALMOSTMRSG Sun 24-Feb-13 21:28:06

Tonights episode reminded me of my lovely dad. He lost his siblings to TB in the 40's and left him in poor health and disabled as the TB weakened his spine. Life is often sad. Call The Midwife reflects life as it once was.

Last weeks was very hard to watch, this weeks was lovely and uplifting.

minouminou Sun 24-Feb-13 21:31:14

I see it as a love letter to the NHS because you see how it made a difference to people's lives. The episode with poor old Mrs Jenkins (with the toenails)....she thought the nurses were coming to take her back to the workhouse, because thst's the only "social care" she'd ever known.
It makes me really appreciate the NHS because this series throws into relief just how much of a revelation/relief/amazing gift it is.

Which makes me feel doubly sad when I see what's happening to it.

I really enjoy Call The Midwidesmile.
Series one was good, and this one even better. Yes there are lots of sad tales, but in those days there wasn't as much medical advances like there are now. I, myself find it really interesting watching what women in childbirth went through in that era.
Haven't watched todays one as i have just had a mc & it's too raw for me right now but in time i will get back to watching it.

I agree miniou, awful isn't it how this government are set to ruin the NHS.
It may not be perfect, but the NHS is there and is mostly very good.

McNewPants2013 Sun 24-Feb-13 21:36:34

Sorry for your loss pumpkin thanks

Thankyou Mcnew x

ConferencePear Sun 24-Feb-13 21:41:57

It makes me very thankful not just for the medical advances but the changes in social attitudes. The shame of having a baby out of marriage for example and work opportunities for mothers.

ConferencePear Sun 24-Feb-13 21:43:01

It makes me very thankful not just for the medical advances but the changes in social attitudes. The shame of having a baby out of marriage for example and work opportunities for mothers.

Viviennemary Sun 24-Feb-13 21:47:22

It does make people (like me anyway) grateful for the NHS and better housing and grateful that attitudes to a lot of things have changed. I think some people did lead very grim lives in those days. But there was a really good community spirit.

DonderandBlitzen Sun 24-Feb-13 21:52:35

The Call the Midwife Book had some really upsetting bits, but the book "Shadows of the Workhouse" that she also wrote was even more upsetting i think. I hope that they don't make a TV dramatisation of it as it was just too upsetting.

scarlettsmummy2 Sun 24-Feb-13 21:57:18

I agree, it's been very upsetting this series. I have been in floods of tears every episode in a way I wasn't with the first series.

LaVolcan Sun 24-Feb-13 22:14:10

I thought this week's quite touching, with the old man saying to the baby 'I'm just going while your arriving,' and telling him it would be his job to get the barrels up.

thegreylady Sun 24-Feb-13 22:16:58

To me it is one of very few things I can be bothered to watch. It isn't a period bodice ripper but is rooted in our recent history. In the 50's I was growing up in a council house ina NE pit village. I remember the mobile Xray vans very well.
CTM avoids most of the saccharine sentimentality of most Sunday evening viewing.

thegreylady Sun 24-Feb-13 22:19:23

The character Jane plays a central part in Shadows of the Workhouse which is gritty and harrowing. I think they have used sanitised excerpts from it in this and the first series.

They've used storylines from 'shadows of the workhouse' already so I'm guessing that they are combining the two smile

Cornwall73 Sun 24-Feb-13 22:28:40

I don't find it depressing, I think it's a very necessary dramatisation of social history that you don't learn about at school. Conditions were grim and the NHS made a huge difference. I read the three books and if anything I find the TV series too sanitised. The books are very harrowing especially the workhouse ones.

DonderandBlitzen Sun 24-Feb-13 22:34:09

Oh have they? I must admit I've not watched many of the TV episodes. blush Her story was so deeply upsetting in Shadows of the Workhouse it was unbearable I thought.

PedlarsSpanner Sun 24-Feb-13 22:40:28

gosh no I find it a wonderful prog

and joy of joys, Chummy's back from her travels next week too


Tansie Sun 24-Feb-13 22:43:47

My nearly 12 year old DS watched it with me last week (the back-street abortion one.)

It was a great opportunity for me to talk about the wonders of contraception, the horrors of endless child-producing, the poverty it brings and how The Pill brought us out of the dark ages. It was sufficiently uplifting where we see that the woman survived but I think that as a social history esp for DS, it's been useful. He was really disappointed this week that Top Gear won in my house (philistine older DB...) but I said we'd watch it together on iplayer tomorrow.

Sure, I can't 'just sit there'- as you can't if you have a curious DC beside you, watching anything but early-evening light entertainment rubbish, but the opportunity to explain stuff is great.

And yay to the NHS.

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Sun 24-Feb-13 22:47:55

I love the show, but feel that it should be post 9pm watershed viewing.

So sorry about your mc, pumpkin.

DeepRedBetty Sun 24-Feb-13 23:09:13

ddtwins and I have been hooked from the very first episode (they're just turned 14). I find it a beautifully balanced drama and I'm delighted to find something that isn't Friends or Big Bang Theory or wall to wall MTV that they're willing to watch. Also they've picked up loads of social history from it - as indeed have I, and I thought I was well educated!

Suzieismyname Sun 24-Feb-13 23:42:56

It's great TV. I've just read the first two books on holiday and they were absolutely gripping. Some of it is so sad and some is so uplifting. I'm definitely more grateful to be having my children in the 21st century rather than the beginning/middle of the 20th!
It's amazing to think how times have changed, especially what we perceive to be poverty!

DonderandBlitzen Sun 24-Feb-13 23:59:35

Something that has never left me from the first book is her description of the smell of the ante natal clinic. It smelled because she had to heat up their wee over a bunsen burner to test it and also because some of them didn't have the means to wash regularly and so were smelly down below when she had to examine them, plus some had infections. I think the author was quite gifted in her descriptions of how vile the smell was and it still makes me cringe a bit to think of it.

Bue Mon 25-Feb-13 00:05:43

I don't think it's depressing at all, I find it quite feel good. Yes there are upsetting bits, but such is life, and it is usually countered by something lighter. The wonderful swinging soundtrack helps too. And gosh, is it ever sanitised compared to the books!!

gazzalw Mon 25-Feb-13 08:10:05

Yes, my DS (12) is intrigued by it too....Am particularly impressed that a drama that's female driven in plot and particulars can be appealing to boys too. It is indeed a fantastic way of showing social history in an 'engaging' way.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Mon 25-Feb-13 08:26:51

YABU. It's not always comfortable viewing but it sure as hell makes me grateful for the social housing, benefits system, contraception and NHS as it is today.

I find it the opposite... people facing the most hardships and yet found ways of making the best of their lot wherever possible.

also as a social history it is fascinating.

MrsBeep Mon 25-Feb-13 08:39:31

Last nights was very tear jerking, ended up sobbing all over my ironing, but they're not all like that, and as someone else said they are aided by very happy moments.

I want to read the book too.

Ha ! All the posters saying this was set in the decade their parents were born !

It was only the decade before I was born !

And I remember our Health Visitor riding round on her black bicycle with her black stockings - the overall impression to a 1960's 5 year old was definitely serious, sombre, and old-fashioned even then!

I often think what you said thinkso - about how people will look back at our lives - I wonder what they will make of them !

WestieMamma Mon 25-Feb-13 08:45:32

YANBU I think it's quite triggering. I've felt very sad since watching last night's, and am getting teary again writing about it. I'm almost 8 months pregnant and for me it was heartbreaking to watch last night as my Dad died of heart failure recently so will never get to meet his grandson. sad

I think Chummy will make an appearance, back from Africa, next week ?
That should brighten things up a bit !

minouminou Mon 25-Feb-13 08:55:34

I think it's on at an ideal time....younger kids will be in bed, but older ones....say 11-12 plus will be up and interested. I'd have loved it at that age.

Sorry last night's episode made you sad Westie sad

Sounds like the books are quite harrowing and they've toned things down quite a bit, but perhaps they need to go further to lighten and brighten the mood.

I'd like to be able to watch it with DD, who's 13, but feel I have to keep sending her out. I don't know, maybe I should let her watch, but even I don't feel I want to watch everything (perhaps because I know family are around though)
Feel it could be a little lighter especially for a Sunday evening pre-watershed.
Did notice the woman in labour last night was less of a screamer though unlike me blush

ivykaty44 Mon 25-Feb-13 09:08:29

I have to admit that as I read the books it was

thank goodness for the church and the nuns

rather than thanks for the NHS

as it was the nuns that had been helping the woman of Poplar survive child birth for the last 50 years rather than doctors private or NHS

some of the Nuns were going to deliver babies to people they had delivered years before and without them things wouldn't have been good in a lot of cases

hackmum Mon 25-Feb-13 09:08:51

I quite enjoy it, except that I think it's sometimes too sentimental.

The books, especially Shadow of the Workhouse, are much more harrowing. They've sanitised almost all the stories for the tv series. In last night's episode it didn't mention that the reason Julia's five siblings all died of TB was that she was a carrier, and that her child eventually died of TB for the same reason. (In the book, the child was actually born near the beginning of the war.)

Jane's back story, as told in the book, is so horrific you couldn't actually show it on tv.

Missbopeep Mon 25-Feb-13 09:11:26

Gosh you lot are young!

I was born at the same time as CTM is set- the 50s. It shows a certain side of life but believe me it wasn't all like that!

My parents married in 1948 and waited 7 years until i was born- contraception was available, and they weren't rich. My mum worked in a typing pool- like last night's episode- and my dad worked in the ship yards. It was quite possible to space your children or not get pregnant- even my grans had only 2 or 3 children each and they were born in the 1890s. Contraception was available but you had to buy it.

The programme dwells on the hard side of life but it's not how everyone lived in that era.

expatinscotland Mon 25-Feb-13 09:14:09

Haven't ever seen it. Doesn't seem my cup of tea and looks depressing even in the adverts/trailers.

Missbopeep Mon 25-Feb-13 09:32:59

It's not depressing at all- it's uplifting generally as each episode ends on an upbeat note albeit with some tragedy along the way!

I am trying to predict what will happen to TB nun- either she will die and marry DR on her death bed, ( or at least they will declare thier love for each other) or she will recover from TB, throw off her habit and they will marry and live happily ever after.

ppeatfruit Mon 25-Feb-13 09:51:20

The thing about CTM is the QUALITY of the writing, directing and acting (Vanessa Redgrave's voiceover and the music used are amazing!) it is beautiful as well as very sad in places. It makes you feel sympathy for every character even the batty old nuns. I love it and will not hear a negative word against it. So yes YABVVU !!!

exoticfruits Mon 25-Feb-13 10:00:19

I find it very warming and uplifting. It was grim in that place, at that time. I find it generally ends happily-I don't think it did in RL.

TheSilveryPussycat Mon 25-Feb-13 10:01:36

Ha juggling I was born early in the 50's and I think thegreylady was as well smile

CinnabarRed Mon 25-Feb-13 10:08:23

I couldn't watch the episode about the baby born with Spina Bifida. The abortion one was harrowing, of course, but somehow I can cope better when awful things are happening to adults rather than children.

limitedperiodonly Mon 25-Feb-13 10:27:55

I love it. That comment about the broken biscuits the other week. Oh God.

CinnabarRed Mon 25-Feb-13 10:34:45

What was the broken biscuit comment?

atthewelles Mon 25-Feb-13 10:39:07

I did find last night's episode very depressing.
Thank God for Trixie and her red stilettoes!

In general, though, I love this programme and I think while it shows the difficult and very sad parts of life in the East End in the 1950s it also shows a community spirit which has sadly died out.

Delighted to see Chummy will be back next week. She really left a gap in the programme.

ivykaty44 Mon 25-Feb-13 10:41:14


the home for special needs were given broken biscuits from the factory next door....

limitedperiodonly Mon 25-Feb-13 10:42:06

In the spina bifida episode where the father was being shown round the home where his son would end up and the young man showing him round said it wasn't a bad life because there was a biscuit factory next door and they always gave the children in the home the broken ones.

And even though the people running the home were nice that was all that children like him could expect.

Adversecamber Mon 25-Feb-13 10:42:39

The home for children with disabilities was next to a biscuit factory. Jacob who had cerebral palsy and was in his late teens told the Father of the baby born with spina bifida who was contemplating putting the baby in the home that it was great being next to the factory as they let the home have the broken biscuits.

It was heart wrenching in the extreme.

spottyhankystripysocks Mon 25-Feb-13 10:42:58


I love it! It is based on how life really was and is an interesting piece of social history.

Xenia Mon 25-Feb-13 10:47:43

I loved the books and passed them on to my daughter who did too and the series is good.

nipersvest Mon 25-Feb-13 10:49:18

love call the midwife. i sobbed during last nights, the father/daughter thing hit a nerve, still love it despite that.

how is downton any less depressing though?, they've had war, spanish flu, daughter die in childbirth, husbands die in car crashes.

CinnabarRed Mon 25-Feb-13 11:00:36

Ah - I didn't get that far before I had to stop watching. sad

LadyApricot Mon 25-Feb-13 11:02:38

I adore it. My grandmother was one of those people in the east end, no money and 8 kids. I always think of her and how hard it must've been.
i love the fashion and the music and the out of date medical advice!
Also my grandfather on my mums side trained to be a missionary in what they call nonnatus house so I imagine him walking down those halls as a young man. God it always makes me cry!
Do not read the follow up book about the workhouse- even more depressing!

CinnabarRed Mon 25-Feb-13 11:03:42

And talking about social history, I read a harrowing account of a breech baby dying during childbirth, written by the doctor trying to save mother and baby. Once the baby's body had been born, its natural instinct was to draw breath - so breech babies drown in their own amniotic fluids. It was horrific. Thank God for scans and midwives.

BertieBotts Mon 25-Feb-13 11:06:33

It was the way it was said... the dad asked Jacob what it was like living in the home, and he said "There's a biscuit factory next door... we get the broken ones."

So simple, so clever, could have been taken in a positive or negative way but either way, utterly heartbreaking.

Some babies have always been born breech and many survived though Cinnabar ? I guess these days many will be CS ?

CinnabarRed Mon 25-Feb-13 11:12:13

The breech babies that don't survive are the ones whose heads can't be birthed. I guess there's a very fine line - some babies with small heads/mothers with wider hips would make it.

I have cried happy and sad tears watching it, I have never regretted watching any of the episodes. I think it is brilliant quality and the second series is as good as the first, which I wasn't expecting.

comelywenchlywoo Mon 25-Feb-13 11:27:34

I really enjoy it! I don't think it's too depressing at all - compared to the Downton and Dr. Who Christmas specials it was a veritable joy!

I thought I wasn't going to make it through the Spina Bifida episode, but it ended well. I cried last night, but sometimes one likes a good weep! YABU, there are sooo many worse things to watch on a Sunday!

Still18atheart Mon 25-Feb-13 11:36:47

I wouldn't call it depressing. However, there were bits where i had to leave the room as i was feeling squirmish and uncomfortable.

SusanneLinder Mon 25-Feb-13 11:44:09

I was sad last night-still I just think Sister Bernadette should rip off her habit and get it on with Dr Turner grin.There is obviously "chemistry" grin

melika Mon 25-Feb-13 11:53:41

I always forget its on, now i realise its because of top gear. I love Ripper St though and mourn its finishing last night. Hope they bring it back.

Peevish Mon 25-Feb-13 11:57:01

On the broken biscuit issue, I don't think this should be taken as a comment on the exclusion of children with disabilities in the 1950s. I mean, obviously they were excluded/marginalised, but broken biscuits were on sale in corner shops for the general public, they just cost less than unbroken ones. My father (born 1943) remembers them fondly. Any child from a comparatively poor background would have regarded them as a treat.

VirtualAssistant2011 Mon 25-Feb-13 12:05:06

Is there any way to catch up on episodes? I have never watched this but wanted to see what it is like?

LeBFG Mon 25-Feb-13 12:12:09

Never watched the series but did read the book after a MNer recommended it.

Wasn't Heart beat set at about the same time? Perhaps a bit later. Anyway, I always felt it was saccharine puff which idealised the period. I prefer the honesty of CTM. It really was interesting reading about living in tenements although I do remember studying about them in GCSE Geography (many moons ago grin) this book brings it to life. All the details like how the hell did they dry all the nappies and what they did with homeless. So interesting.

I particularly remember getting very angry at the world when reading the book - so much of the misery fell on women's shoulders. So much abuse from men sad - made me feel like turning into a rad fem! Shows how much the rights of women have progressed over quite a short period of time. Wonderful.

tiggersreturn Mon 25-Feb-13 12:25:43

I like it a lot but I like historical dramas and it's easy to identify with. It is occasionally a culturally more acceptable version of OBEM though. I read the books after the first series and the 2nd and 3rd are really upsetting. I turned up to work sobbing after reading Jane's story on the tube. The unedited version of the Masterson saga is also horrific. But that was life. It makes me very thankful for the NHS and welfare system however abused it has become.

Not suitable for children.

If anyone wants to catch up with it, there are probably episodes still on iplayer from this series. I'm not sure if there's a dvd from the first series yet.

BraveLilBear Mon 25-Feb-13 13:15:52

Virtual try the iPlayer, I think they're keeping the whole series up for a while.

OP - I love CTM. It can be depressing but as has been said, so is life! My nan was having her 6 boys around this era so it's nice to be able to 'bond' with her over it, though I agree, the conditions and the way women were treated were shocking compared to now - how many women would accept a forced shave and enema in early labour?

Agree with other posters, books much more harrowing, but beautifully written. I loved reading them, although, yes, 'Shadows' is horrific - sobbed no end reading it. What was worse for me was never knowing that was how people were treated in living memory.

I like it. I love the books, and agree with whoever said the TV series is more sentimental - but it is mostly very lightly done IMO. It does make me appreciate the NHS and all that we know now about medicine. I like that it is commenting obliquely on what is going on now, and not just saying 'it was grim back in the day'.

The actress who is Sister Bernardette steals the show, for me.

KitCat26 Mon 25-Feb-13 13:45:49

I enjoy the tv series, but if DH is awake, Top Gear wins.

The books made me sob though, especially the work house one, some of that was just so horrific. Especially when you realise how recent that all is, my great gran, born 1906, grew up in an orphanage (illegitimate) and had a really tough time of it. My parents were born in the 50s. And my mum remembers being shaved and having an enema when she gave birth to me in the 80s!

miemohrs Mon 25-Feb-13 13:47:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

The first is 'Call the Midwife', the second is 'Shadows of the Workhouse' and the third is 'Farewell to the East End'. The author is Jennifer Worth.

OneoftheseBoxes Mon 25-Feb-13 14:01:45

I've just started reading the book and agree that the book is much more harrowing than the TV series is. Somehow on TV its lighter, and the difficult bits and sad stories are lightened by other incidents. I'm enjoying the TV series though (although I do end up crying quite a lot - but I'm blaming the pregnancy hormones).

daisydee43 Mon 25-Feb-13 14:08:21

Yes I agree, have series linked the new episodes and tbh I don't know if I will bother watching them, one born every minute is much better

miemohrs Mon 25-Feb-13 14:47:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hope you like them! smile

BoffinMum Mon 25-Feb-13 14:58:06

I think the series serves as a very useful reminder as to why we have the NHS and welfare support, and what things would start to look like fairly rapidly if we didn't.

I absolutely love it - it's my favourite programme at the moment. I really enjoy the historical details, the characters and I love all of the births too. Amazing to see how our parents and grandparents lived. I find it really life-affirming.

sorry YABU

Bue Mon 25-Feb-13 15:21:13

meimohrs, I wouldn't base my opinion of her on one dodgy Daily Fail article! I read the article too and it was very thin on actual facts.

mrsjay Mon 25-Feb-13 15:23:38

it was kind of grim and heartwarming at the same time I can imagine it was really like that a bit like life I hate things like cranford or downtown so CTMW is fine for sunday night tv and makes a change

mrsjay Mon 25-Feb-13 15:24:17

IT is* and yabu

MadMumToThree Mon 25-Feb-13 15:24:22

Well I'm really enjoying it - it's one if the few programmes I want to last l

Xenia Mon 25-Feb-13 15:24:43

BM, the series is set in the days of the NHS which was set up afterWII which is why the pregnant women don't pay. It is a new and big thing for them - free healthcare for all.

MadMumToThree Mon 25-Feb-13 15:26:02

(Aargh fat fingers on phone!). last longer. I think because they are true stories makes it more interesting.

Although I do wonder if the midwives really need to get quite to close to the action grin

mrsjay Mon 25-Feb-13 15:28:12

Although I do wonder if the midwives really need to get quite to close to the action

they are right THERE eh grin I guess the houses were dark hospitals have artificial light so the dont need to be right THERE !

I watch with my dds they enjoy it and know how luck they are when the time comes to have their own babies,

mrsjay Mon 25-Feb-13 15:30:06

I think a lot of women had babies at home because that is what they did they needed to be home for their other children and having a baby in hospital was for emergencies only or if there was a need house not clean enough or poor conditions most women had babies at home even witht he NHS

ppeatfruit Mon 25-Feb-13 16:02:50

But mrsjay and madmum don't the midwives have to actually HELP the baby's head to be born? which would mean having to be there!! I know mine did (DS1 had a large head ,TMI I know, sorry, but she was sort of 'scrabbling' about to help him out IYSWIM!!).

mrsjay Mon 25-Feb-13 16:04:58

yes I know but watching it the seem to be very close up all the way through

MadMumToThree Mon 25-Feb-13 16:12:14

They do look as though they're trying to get in with baby sometimes

mrsjay Mon 25-Feb-13 16:13:05

its like narnia up there grin

EnjoyResponsibly Mon 25-Feb-13 16:23:18

Last nights episode and the Christmas episode are harrowing reading in the books.

The story about the woman entering the workhouse having sold her hair and teeth and then losing her children after their final night has stayed with me for months.

It's one of those things in life that you need to read about appalling tragedy to appreciate what you really have.

I thought it was so sad last night that the first touch from the GP that Sister Bernadette had yearned for turned out to be the touch that diagnosed her TB.

I was in tears by the end.

McNewPants2013 Mon 25-Feb-13 16:28:40

Think I will get these books.

Titchyboomboom Mon 25-Feb-13 16:54:15

I love it and the tv adaptation is so much less harrowing than the book

EnjoyResponsibly Mon 25-Feb-13 16:58:02

What's funny is that I read them withVanessa Redgraves voice in my head. Weird.

ppeatfruit Mon 25-Feb-13 17:08:31

I don't know though mrsjay and madmum there always seems to be teacloth hanging out in the way IYSWIM grin

stubbornstains Mon 25-Feb-13 17:33:07

I think when people are talking about pre-NHS days in reference to CTM, they mean that a lot of the stories refer back to pre-NHS, or pre- Welfare State times.

Notably the Mrs Jenkins storyline. I think all members of the Conservative Party should be strapped down and read that chapter from the book, notably the bit where she's refused parish relief after she injures her arm in a work accident, and told she's "lazy and workshy". And then I think they should have a long hard think about some of the inflammatory crap they spout about the poor, and where it can end.

2old2beamum Mon 25-Feb-13 18:56:05

Due to my advancing years I started my Paediatric Nursing in 1962. For a short time during our training my friend and I spent a few days with the nuns in Poplar, believe me you this series is spot on.

The poverty and deprivation I witnessed has shaped my life and taught me never to be judgemental

When watching Call The Midwife I can still smell the East End.

hackmum Mon 25-Feb-13 18:56:53

stubbornstains - I so agree with you about the Mrs Jenkins storyline. It makes me angry that people forget so quickly how working-class people suffered before there was a welfare state.

I loved the three books, but I've been wondering for ages how much of what she wrote was true, and how much exaggerated or made up. I read them with the assumption that it was all true, and then I read an interview with the remaining Nonnatus nuns that said they didn't remember anyone like Chummy or Sister Monica Joan, and I started to wonder if she'd made those characters up and, if so, how much else she'd made up. I'd love to know but I imagine it would be very hard to find out.

willesden Mon 25-Feb-13 19:03:02

Downton is full of death, miscarriage, widowhood, fostered children, poor women working as prostitutes, war, accidents, homosexual men being beaten up, unrequited love and death in childbirth. Exactly which bit of Downton cheers you up on a Sunday night then?

Missbopeep Mon 25-Feb-13 19:46:41

I posted this before but TBH some of you are writing as if CTM was 1850 not 1950+

The NHS existed in the 1950s and I was born alive and kicking in an NHS hospital in the mid 50s.

My parents used contraception as did most of their generation and planned families. I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth- was brought up in a flat with an outside loo and no bathroom- tin bath in lounge.

But the NHS and reasonably good care existed.

peeriebear Mon 25-Feb-13 19:48:22

The books are definitely a lot more hard hitting. The woman having the abortion in the book- it didn't have a happy ending, even less so than the programme. They have sanitised a lot of the stories, and mixed up storylines from all the books into the series.
I love Sister Bernadette, she's magnetic.

sarahtigh Mon 25-Feb-13 19:51:53

the NHS was started in 1948 so anyone born pre NHS is at least 64 / 65 years old, CTM is set in `1950's so everything is NHS

plaingirly Mon 25-Feb-13 19:52:49

The Doctor is really rather dashing!

LaVolcan Mon 25-Feb-13 19:55:01

hackmum I have wondered the same. As far as the midwifery goes I think she has taken true stories but changed some details and mixed people up a bit so as to not identify them. As far as the workhouse stuff goes, she couldn't possibly be talking from experience, but I suppose could have found out the stories from talking to the nuns or to older residents of Poplar.

It wasn't just working class people who needed to fear the workhouse. I had a great-grandfather who had a comfortable upbringing, private education, no expense spared;who then went and blued in the family fortune. My grandfather had to take his parents in in their old age, because it was either that or the workhouse.

stubbornstains Mon 25-Feb-13 20:22:23

Would anybody else have loved an outfit called the Obstetric Flying Squad to rock up while they were having a baby? grin

coribells Mon 25-Feb-13 20:36:34

The first episode I saw was the Christmas episode, I am hooked., I found the episodes with old who needed his legs dressing and the old lady with the toe nails particularly powerful. I recently came across a lady in rl with toe nails just like that. We have a fully functioning NHS but people still fall through the net, and in some ways we have less care in the home than those in the 1950s

mrsjay Mon 25-Feb-13 20:40:42

The poverty and deprivation I witnessed has shaped my life and taught me never to be judgemental

When watching Call The Midwife I can still smell the East End.

and this was early 60s as you said did the women still have their babies at home or did the go to hospital by then <nosey>

SoleSource Mon 25-Feb-13 20:47:14

Enjoy that is really spooky!

2old2beamum Mon 25-Feb-13 21:18:05

mrsjay fuddled mind Yes some babies were born at home and definitely well less than half. We did have many babies brought in to the children's hospital very shortly after birth both from home and maternity homes The Mothers Salvation Army Hospital and The Mile End Maternity Home some in a dreadful state.
TBH when we went out with the nuns we were dealing with many patients with cancer who were terminal. We did however go to antenatal and postnatal clinics the poverty was horrendous!
Bet you are sorry you asked grin

Xenia Mon 25-Feb-13 21:29:47

I was born at home under protest in the 60s (first baby and my mother an early NCT member) and discharged herself almost immediately; her other babies were born at home. First births were more complex so you can see the logic of first at hospital and others at home.

In the 1950s people certainly did remember much older relatives who had been in the work houses.

The story needs happy endings but the reality would often not have been happy.

CheapBread Mon 25-Feb-13 21:43:17

I find it uplifting. I rarely watch TV dramas but this one has me hooked.
It's fascinating to see how hard women/people had it in those days and makes me bloody thankful to be around now!

Oodsigma Mon 25-Feb-13 21:47:43

In the book Jenny writes about it being very different to her training due to the massive poverty & deprivation. One reference to breast feeding as she had learnt formula was better but could see why that would be worse in poplar due to cost & lack of hygiene.

Oodsigma Mon 25-Feb-13 21:48:12

In the book Jenny writes about it being very different to her training due to the massive poverty & deprivation. One reference to breast feeding as she had learnt formula was better but could see why that would be worse in poplar due to cost & lack of hygiene.

Oodsigma Mon 25-Feb-13 21:48:45

Sorry lost connection & double posted!

recall Mon 25-Feb-13 21:56:19

I find the main character Nurse Jenny a bit annoying, she seems a bit precious and too hesitant, the sort of person in RL that I would instantly clash with. I haven't read the books unfortunately, but is she like the character in the book?

BertieBotts Mon 25-Feb-13 22:10:36

In the book she writes about the attitude to hospitals too, when the workhouses were closed down, many remained open as "infirmaries" where elderly or disabled or injured people would go, conditions were barely better than the workhouse - they weren't starved or beaten or put to work, but they were generally neglected and left without being sat up or seeing sunlight for days or weeks on end sad There was a man in the last series who Jenny became friendly with who ended up there.

Then once the infirmaries started to close they became the hospital buildings (and to this day many UK hospitals are built on old workhouse sites or housed in old workhouse buildings - it's true for a small part of my local one, which I never realised before reading the book.) but they had such a reputation of fear, of death and of never coming out again that many, many people were utterly terrified of the idea of going there. They didn't see a hospital as a safe, helping place at all.

Makes you wonder how much of "hospital fear" which is still fairly common is based on this old association with workhouses.

MagratOfStolat Mon 25-Feb-13 22:14:49

I honestly thought I was going to throw up last week, I was in FLOODS. DH was like "are you OK?!" and I was literally retching from sheer sadness and just the awfulness of it!

I bloody love the series. It's incredible!

mrsjay Tue 26-Feb-13 09:22:34

We did however go to antenatal and postnatal clinics the poverty was horrendous!
Bet you are sorry you asked

not at all I find it really interesting not that poverty and death is interesting but you know what I mean grin

LaVolcan Tue 26-Feb-13 10:07:43

Did I watch the same programme? I thought it quite positive - the old man and his daughter were reconciled, he died in peace after having met his grandson. Sister Bernadette was having a crisis in her vocational life, so maybe she could seeTB as being sent as a way out of the nun's life.

On another note, I was around in the 1950s but the poverty was nowhere near as severe as in the East End. The local district nurse/midwife riding round on her bike was a well respected figure though.

Osmiornica Tue 26-Feb-13 10:15:37

BertieBotts, you've just reminded me of the fact that my nan was terrified of going into our local hospital as it used to be a workhouse. The buildings had been completely replaced and there was nothing original left but the legacy was enough to do that.

Osmiornica Tue 26-Feb-13 10:18:51

Oh, and to make it worse, the hospital was an old people's one too so when I was younger most of the people in there would have remembered it as a workhouse and may well have felt the same about it.

mrsjay Tue 26-Feb-13 10:24:42

My friends mum used to work in a building that used to be a 'girls maternity home' friend picked her mum up 1 day it was away out the way and surrounded by trees and it felt depressing those poor girls been sent to it must have felt sad

MonthlyNeedsToTakeHerTime Tue 26-Feb-13 10:42:13

My grandma was a nurse in the same area when she was young, and she bought the book as it was just like her work. She then passed it on to me to read so I could see what life was like for her. She then died unexpectedly, so I read it and now watch the series, and will slap anyone who says anything against it smile

P.s. they did have the NHS, but not like today. Things like contraception etc weren't covered by it, along with many other things. It was in its basic infancy

BadMissM Tue 26-Feb-13 10:55:36

I love this programme....

It's only about 10 years before I was born. It echoes all the stories my grandmother used to tell me when I was a child. She grew up in Bethnal Green, and her stories were very similar to those you see on the series. She had all her children at home, as did her sisters. Reading the books is like listening to one of my Grandmother's stories...

My other grandmother used to tell me about her grandmother, who ended up in one of the 'infirmaries', simply because her family didn't have the space nor the money to take her in when she couldn't support herself. My mother has a photo of her and the other 'inmates' lined up aginst the wall...
Cameron would like it to be this waya agin....
My DD of 14 loves this series, and I think it's really important for her to understand how recently this happened, and where her family came from, and how all of this has changed so much in 50 years..

(Although I think Mr Cameron would like it to be this wayagain...

I love it. I like that it deals with real issues, but I admit last week's was harrowing. Makes me even more grateful that whatever I am dissatisfied with, at least I have access to contraception and am not living hand to mouth.

kimorama Tue 26-Feb-13 11:37:57

My BB likes it, I dont really get it. I mean they have come to 1950s now. Not too credible

*Last week I mean the one with the backstreet abortion.

No idea what your comment means kimorama.

They've been in the 1950s all along, haven't they?

It's got me talking to my dad actually - he was born in the outskirts of London in 1950, not the same thing at all, I know. But what I'd been noticing was how slim all the women were, even when they were pregnant, and he reckons that's realistic, that people really were a lot smaller then. The bit where the rat bites the baby left out in the pram sounds quite likely too. Scary.

Tansie Tue 26-Feb-13 12:01:44

I must admit, having just watched latest episode, the TB one, on iplayer, I was shouting at the telly a bit about the mass Xray van thing! I am prepared to be corrected- but I can't imagine they'd do a chest xray on someone complete with a complete nuns habit (and crucifix!) on, not check anyone for stuff that might produce artefacts, and not ^get them to breath in and hold it^- which seems pretty fundamental for a chest xray!

That's why DH won't let me watch ER or Holby City, or Casualty, as well grin

CinnabarRed Tue 26-Feb-13 12:05:53

The women were all slim because rationing had only just ended.

mrsjay Tue 26-Feb-13 12:06:53

It has always been the late 50s though confused

mrsjay Tue 26-Feb-13 12:07:46

well they wouldnt have had the same amount of food if they were poor and had loads of children

Oh, I'm not suggesting it's inauthentic they'd be slim, I was just wondering if it'd been that noticeable. In old pictures we've got, my dad's mum isn't especially slim and my other granny is, but then she always was until she got quite elderly. So I was interested in it.

tansie - ok, admittedly not a chest x-ray, but only 20 years ago my brother was x-rayed and the tech couldn't work out what the strange ring-shaped object was. He'd forgotten to tell my mum to take off her wedding ring while she was holding onto him. grin

mrsjay Tue 26-Feb-13 12:18:01

I have seen old family photos of my nana who was slim until her mid 40s then the spreAD STARTED grin I guess she stopped having babies by then and could eat something ,

Martha75 Tue 26-Feb-13 12:22:49

CTM is set in the 1950's (which I can remember!) so the NHS was in existence then (started after the war c1948). Before that they would have had to pay for the midwife and the doctor. Don't forget this is set in the slums, so not all life was like that in the 1950's - not that we had much compared to today. I haven't seen the women out scrubbing their doorsteps every morning though - and having the cleanest doorstep was a matter of pride even in deprived areas like that.

Martha75 Tue 26-Feb-13 12:27:27

Oh, and they were slim because they didn't have so much food and of course they had to walk everywhere, housework was harder, no washing machines etc

PolkadotsAndMoonbeams Tue 26-Feb-13 12:28:15

Some of it is sad, but I like the way they temper it with 'normal' things too, like Jenny putting Trixie's hair in rollers last night, or the bit taking the photographs for the baby show.

I also really like the music smile

Martha75 Tue 26-Feb-13 12:33:40

Yes, the music's great - takes me back! I used to like Heartbeat for the music.

Yes, I hadn't thought, walking everywhere would be a big thing. I remember in the books she mentions how a lot of women had varicose veins because they had to bump their heavy prams up all those flights of stairs - ouch!

I like that about it too, polka.

And though it's so sad, I am really impressed with the storyline about Sister Monica Joan. I can't think when I've last seen a storyline about someone who's gradually failing that's managed not to be patronizing but also to show how gradual and difficult it is.

AmberLeaf Tue 26-Feb-13 12:50:25

Stubornstains I am sure that if you have a home birth even now there is a 'flying squad' on standby! I remember a friend telling me about it when she had a HB about 7-8 years ago.

Peevish I agree re the broken biscuits, when I watched that I just thought huh? because when I was small and certainly years before that buying broken biscuits cheaply was something that lots of families did, a few of my family members worked at a biscuit factory in bermondsey so you got first dibs on the packs, they came in a white paper bag with one side of sellophane. we loved getting them, as you say a real treat!

The books are much harsher than the TV series though.

My Mum grew up in Bethnal green too BadmissM from what she tells me it does reflect how things were.

The poverty and conditions were appalling, where my Mum lived the only water they had was a cold tap in a small scullery at the back of the 'kitchen'

Housing conditions were pretty awful for lots of people.

AmberLeaf Tue 26-Feb-13 12:55:58

I remember my Nanny saying that there were no fat people during the war!

Also, when a meal was served the pecking order was the Dad first and the biggest portion [as he worked a manual job and 'needed' more food!] then the children, then the Mum.

Bread with every meal to fill you up too.

They were slim, as rationing had only just ended. There wasn't as much food as there is now.
People were poor, and when they had lots of children to feed, there wouldn't be as much.
No junk food then either, whereas it's everywhere now!

Really love the music, some of it is lovelysmile

ppeatfruit Tue 26-Feb-13 13:02:41

Well pumpkin the fast food of the day was fish and chips wasn't it? I read somewhere that it was a real treat because they didn't have many freshly cooked proper meals otherwise just bread and marge or jam (not together either!).

AmberLeaf Tue 26-Feb-13 13:05:07

ppeatfruit, that reminded me, My Mum said often for dinner they would have bread and dripping, some of the white fat spread on bread, then a thin spreading of the black jelly stuff on top of that.

ppeatfruit Tue 26-Feb-13 13:08:04

Yes but that was for the rich richer people who could afford MEAT!!!

Fish and chips isn't that unhealthy though, is it? I mean, if you were working hard physically, fish and chips is a good slab of protein, plus some carbs and fat - that's probably just what you needed.

ppeatfruit Tue 26-Feb-13 13:10:05

Can you imagine how expensive it was to feed 8 DCs and DH a lot of meat grin? Meat wasn't cheap then. (it shouldn't be now IMO but that's another thread!)

ppeatfruit Tue 26-Feb-13 13:11:12

No it was healthy compared to bread and marge LRD grin

Crikey, yes. Meat for eight people.

Mary Beard's blog has a post at the moment about food in the past. It's got a really unappealing picture of tripe and onions as the illustration.

ppeatfruit Tue 26-Feb-13 13:20:33

Just thinking of the logistics involved in COOKING for that number makes me goggle actually!! The size of cooker etc. I just remembered the mum who WAS coping in CTM who made a big pot of stew or something and all the family eating out of it grin.

Oh, yes, I remember that. She cooked it in the boiler that'd been used for boiling up the babies' nappies, too. Ewwww.

ppeatfruit Tue 26-Feb-13 13:28:09

Well it would be clean!!grin

AmberLeaf Tue 26-Feb-13 13:34:13

No I don't think the dripping came from a joint they had had. It was bought.

They certainly weren't anything like rich enough to be eating joints of beef!

ppeatfruit Tue 26-Feb-13 13:36:22

Yes i thought of that after posting amber at least it was nourishing and 'real' as opposed to marge! you can buy it now I think!

LaVolcan Tue 26-Feb-13 13:40:22

Dripping came in waxed cartons, and was quite tasty, and probably quite nutritious too. The dripping you buy now doesn't taste the same.

AmberLeaf Tue 26-Feb-13 13:51:25

Yes I occasionally buy a block of dripping [you only get the white bit though] when I fancy roast potatos as they used to taste.

The smell of potatos roasting in beef dripping really takes me back!

Don't think Id fancy it on bread though, even with the tasty black bit.

ppeatfruit Tue 26-Feb-13 13:54:50

DH saves the dripping from his beef or whatever to cook his potatoes in (I don't eat meat, it's nice to have the luxury of being able to say that isn't it?grin)

aufaniae Tue 26-Feb-13 13:58:06

I know the conversation has moved on a bit, but I just have to say, OP YABU!

Call the Midwife is brilliant. I'm very busy atm, and it's the only thing I watch on TV regularly atm, everything stops for it!

It has depressing bits sure, but it's based on real life! It also has lost of wonderfully uplifting moments and lots of great stories.

Why on earth would anyone with half a brain consider watching Top Gear instead?! <boggles>

AmberLeaf Tue 26-Feb-13 13:58:17

Strangely, when my Mum was a militant vegetarian she said one thing she missed was beef dripping!

I think growing up the way she did certainly set her up for not feeling the need to eat meat every single day.

She is not veggie anymore, but still only eats meat rarely....her fav is roast beef [rib I think] and she seems more excited about the dripping!

AmberLeaf Tue 26-Feb-13 13:59:48

Yes sorry about the food nostalgia derailment!

ppeatfruit Tue 26-Feb-13 14:20:43

Quite right aufaniae grin Apologies O.P. YABVVU BTW!!!

TeWiSavesTheDay Tue 26-Feb-13 14:26:44

I think people saying it made them appreciate the NHS are saying so because you see all the nurses going out to the houses of people who've not had/been able to afford medical help before. How grateful (most) people were, and how much it was appreciated.

My mum was born about then and didn't want me to have a homebirth, she remembers her mum having to get up and do the washing up right after having her 4th! I pointed out that was probably because her husband was an arsehole though...

I Love it and I really enjoyed the books - are there any other books like them? Social history type stuff?

Tansie Tue 26-Feb-13 14:58:06

Actually, the Top Gear on the other side (I mentioned earlier that that 'won' the TV battle in my house but I like to watch CTMW at my leisure with DS2 on iplayer, anyway)- well, OK, I was watching with half an eye and engaging the quarter brain necessary to take it in, but- weren't they patronising and humiliating pensioners?

Not sure how 'light viewing' I felt that to be!

Yes, Top Gear was horrible. They just weren't funny at all. I think the pensioners were game for it and I thought they were quite funny (I assume the BBC does actually tell them what's going on, it's not as if they'd gone into it unprepared), but it's a bit poor when they're funnier than the presenters who just seemed crap.

Xenia Tue 26-Feb-13 15:32:22

Other books a bit like it - try the Tuppence to Cross the Mersey books. I think there are 3 of them.

Ooh, I'll look out for those.

Xenia Tue 26-Feb-13 15:53:19

Not by the same author but similar, typical life (autobiography) in Merseyside and written by a girl whose family were reasonably well off until she was 10 and then suddenly they were thrown into poverty.

jewelledsky Tue 26-Feb-13 15:58:34

Bit rude aufaniae.

Ive decided IADNBU, and I'll take Top Gear over watching dramatisations of real people's misery for light entertainment anytime. It's in the same camp as that awful misery lit.

I bid you good day.

aufaniae Tue 26-Feb-13 16:08:02

I meant it to be lighthearted, I'm sorry if it came over as rude!

Have you seen many episodes of Call the Midwife? It's certainly not on a par with misery lit IMO.

There was a pretty traumatic episode the other week, I'm wondering if you caught that one and not too many others and have a bit of a skewed idea of the series? It's not all traumatic births, although I have cried a fair amount at it I must admit.

FWIW I see it as "drama" rather than "light entertainment" if that makes a difference? Also, being based on real life, it gives us a fascinating insight into what life might have been like only a few generations back. I grew up not far from the area in the books, and find it really interesting and educational as well as entertaining.

ArcticRoll Tue 26-Feb-13 16:20:44

I avoided first series as thought it was typical saccharine Sunday night telly like Heartbeat or Downton, however I have watched this series and think it's really well done, very moving and great chronicle of recent social history-also good rebuttal to all those who like to think the good old days were somehow better.

Thinkingof4 Tue 26-Feb-13 16:57:13

I think it's the best thing on the bbc for years, beautifully made, and makes me realise how lucky I am.
I can't imagine there were many overweight poor people back then as so little money for food! Don't think that's unrealistic at all
I think all the characters are so engaging, esp love sister bernadette and the doctor storyline. Also love trixie and found the attempted rape storyline very moving too. How often were women sexually assaulted or raped back then and unable to do a thing about it. sad
Things have changed such a lot in terms of women's rights, though admittedly still a long way to go till we have equality

ppeatfruit Tue 26-Feb-13 16:59:51

If you post on Am I Being Unreasonable jewelledsky You generally get roasted grin

IMO It shows the quality of the viewers of CTM that you got an apology FFS from a poster who was being light hearted!!!!!!!

limitedperiodonly Tue 26-Feb-13 17:05:41

I'm another one who missed the first series because I thought it was all about babies and it had bloody Miranda Hart in it.

Now I love it and I can't wait for Chummy to come back next week.

AmberLeaf Tue 26-Feb-13 17:15:29

aufaniae you weren't in the slightest bit rude, the OP on the other hand......

dramatisations of real people's misery for light entertainment anytime. It's in the same camp as that awful misery lit

Its nothing like misery lit, if you watched it you would realise that, but don't listen to any of us that have actually watched it eh.

hackmum Tue 26-Feb-13 17:29:10

Am I the only one who thinks it's been better without Miranda Hart? I didn't mind her, but now I think she's too much of a comic turn.

I like Miranda and I like the character of Chummy, but I think it is nice to see how it's written when she isn't there - it somehow works better when they're not so obviously trying to use Miranda as a 'character'.

I do like the bloke who plays her husband, though.

mrsjay Tue 26-Feb-13 17:34:49

NO i like chummy she is a great character and I loathe Miranda the programme with a passion,

aufaniae Tue 26-Feb-13 17:35:11

Apparently the author Jennifer Worth had a hand in the casting, and thought Miranda Hart was right for the role, very much like the RL Chummy. My flatmate has read all the books and says she's exactly like the description of her.

IIRC sadly Jennifer Worth died before the first series was aired, but it must have been great for her to know it was happening, I hope so anyway.

I haven't seen much of Miranda Hart's other stuff though, so it's not hard for me to imagine her as Chummy smile

aufaniae Tue 26-Feb-13 17:36:58

Oh, did you mean she's too much of a comic turn within the show?

I thought you meant she'd done too much other comedy stuff so hard to take her seriously?

gingeme Tue 26-Feb-13 17:38:52

I have read the books and find the programme has really brought them to life. It makes me grateful for our nhs and midwife system we have In the UK. The series deals with the subjects very well and the actors do a fantastic job of percieving life as It was in the 50s.

Does anyone else find the Jimmy/Jenny storyline annoying and odd?

In the books he was pictured as great fun and a bit silly and immature (which is nice), and she deals with the fact he got someone pregnant and married her in one sentence, and it's never suggested he was emotionally involved with someone else at the time.

I really don't like the way in the TV series he is so involved with someone else she's making his sandwitches and she thinks he's going to marry her, and he's all over Jenny. And she doesn't seem to think it's an issue.

If anything, that's a bit depressing.

aufaniae Tue 26-Feb-13 18:19:58

Thanks ppeatfruit and AmberLeaf btw grin

AmberLeaf Tue 26-Feb-13 18:33:13


limitedperiodonly Tue 26-Feb-13 18:52:03

I haven't read the books. I find the Jimmy/Jenny storyline depressing too but realistic because some people do important things without being that bothered about them in the long run.

I know someone who broke up with his long-term girlfriend about a long-running dispute about the timing of their first child, or whether she wanted one at all.

He got another woman, who'd always fancied him, pregnant and then wanted to go back to the original woman when he found out. He couldn't really understand why that wasn't a goer.

He now has another child with the second woman and they appear happy. I'm still friends with him and his ex who doesn't have children and probably never will. Who knows? I don't live in their pockets.

I am the consummate diplomat. grin I like him very much but I find him very chilling in his pragmatism. It's buried in his childhood, I think, and I'm not going there.

Anyway, who could predict that a stupid Sunday night women's programme could be so deep? wink

Oh and btw hackmum, I don't know how many people want to see the return of Chummy, but you're up against me and my mum <fight>

mrsjay Tue 26-Feb-13 18:58:19

I find jenny a bit wet but I think that is the point as she was quite sheltered and the poverty is supposed to shock her like it is the viewer , that is what it is all about ( i hope)

IneedAgoldenNickname Tue 26-Feb-13 19:06:02

I haven't read the books, but am starting the 1St one tonight. But for those who want something similar, try '12 babies on a bike' I can't remember who it's by, but it's about a midwife in the 1950s

Mmm, you might be right limited.

mrs - me too! She's not half as wet in the books I think, but I think it actually works well to have a central character who is not too sympathetic - it lets us all judge her a bit! grin

mrsjay Tue 26-Feb-13 19:13:16

nk, but I think it actually works well to have a central character who is not too sympathetic - it lets us all judge her a bit!

yes of course but I guess if she wasnt exposed to disease poverty and a woman having baby after baby then she will judge I love how hard nosed pam ferris is , cant remember her nun name grin I think shes great

Oh, yes, she is great! grin

Sister Evangelina. She is absolutely fantastic.

AmberLeaf Tue 26-Feb-13 19:25:04

Yes I love sister Evangelina too.

No nonsense she is.

hackmum Tue 26-Feb-13 20:21:50

aufaniae: did you mean she's too much of a comic turn within the show?

Yes. I didn't really notice until she'd gone, but it just seemed to work much better without her. IMHO, anyway. I don't want to get on the wrong side of limited and her mum. smile

Rosyisgonnabeamummy Tue 26-Feb-13 21:37:50

I only watch it to dream about wear a uniform like they did. Bring back starched pinny's, belts and hats

Lessthanaballpark Tue 26-Feb-13 21:40:06

I love CTM. Yeah it's tad depressing but not when you get to the end, turn the TV off and look round at your lovely warm living room and give your DS a quick squeeze in gratitude that you didn't die giving birth to him and that you're not in a workhouse or bloody freezing cold tenement building.

That makes me proper happy that does. grin

Mum2Luke Tue 26-Feb-13 22:18:44

I am enjoying watching the new series, yes the episode last week was harrowing but it was showing a back street termination which would have happened. It wasn't actually written by Jennifer Worth this time around, have read all of her books and none of the stories depicted are in.

I am just thankful of what we have with our NHS with the conditions some people lived in. It showed when the X-Ray turned up to screen for TB, people eager to be x-rayed.

PolkadotsAndMoonbeams Tue 26-Feb-13 23:45:40

I think I heard they had other midwives from the same sort of time/area write in after the first series and they've used some of their stories as well as hers. Does that ring a bell with anybody else?

Oh, and I used to love Heartbeat, I had quite a crush on Rob.

bottleofbeer Wed 27-Feb-13 00:02:59

The twopence to cross the mersey books are by Helen Forrester, there are actually four of them, The 4th one was written much later (it was originally a trilogy). Excellent social history books. She also wrote a lot of fiction so if it's the memoirs you want, you'll be wanting to get Twopence to cross the mersey, Liverpool miss, by the waters of Liverpool and Lime Street at two smile

Sorry for the rubbish grammar but I cba tonight!

mumnosbest Wed 27-Feb-13 00:34:48

mum2 i recognise the stories from j.worths books. i wonder if you've missed one. think there are 4. the only bit that i don't remember reading is the suggestion of a relationship between the doctor and nun.

Ive decided IADNBU, and I'll take Top Gear over watching dramatisations of real people's misery for light entertainment anytime. It's in the same camp as that awful misery lit
I wonder if the OP watches reality tv, Embarassing Bodies, Jeremy Kyle...
All far worse, real car crash tv. Other peoples exaggerated misfortunes turned into entertainment. Usually made up, scripted, designed to tittilate.
At least CTM is actually based on something real. Whats wrong with social history? Its what made us what we are today. Ive read the books, the series is pretty true to the literature. That is how our grandparents lived. That is what life was like. It was hard, it was horrible and it was cruel.
Id far rather my DCs watched stuff like this than the trash that usually passes for entertainment!

Oodsigma Wed 27-Feb-13 01:45:27

mum2 I've recognised stories too. Some are adapted ( back street abortion one, Janes story) I also remember Meg'n'Mave

hackmum Wed 27-Feb-13 08:15:04

Lol at Rosy and the uniform - I am envious of Jenny's coat. Every week I bore my DD by saying, "I would so love to have a coat like that."

DesiderataHollow Wed 27-Feb-13 08:16:15

I think it's facsinating that hospital childbirth bgan to be "the thing" at least for the middle-classes during the war. Not for medical reasons, but because of rationing. You got your meals while you were in hospital and there was a long stay after the birth, so not to be sneezed at.

Before that people didn't view childbirth as something that needed to be medicalised unless there was a problem. After the war and with the advent of the NHS it became the norm, with all the classes.

ppeatfruit Wed 27-Feb-13 08:25:46

I couldn't agree more SaggyOldClothCat Also the production values, well written script, beautiful acting etc. are light years away from the usual crap on T.V. Perhaps the O.P. can't cope with it because it's so unusual grin.

mrsjay Wed 27-Feb-13 08:33:09

*At least CTM is actually based on something real. Whats wrong with social history? Its what made us what we are today. Ive read the books, the series is pretty true to the literature. That is how our grandparents lived. That is what life was like. It was hard, it was horrible and it was cruel.
Id far rather my DCs watched stuff like this than the trash that usually passes for entertainment!*

all of that ^ ^

MrsBeep Wed 27-Feb-13 08:42:56

Anyone know where I cat watch or download the Christmas Special? I missed it at Christmas and the bloody BBC are terrible for repeating stuff like that and never leave it on iplayer very long.

mrsjay Wed 27-Feb-13 08:50:42

have you tried Iplayer ?

mrsjay Wed 27-Feb-13 08:51:06

oh you have I wish I read things properly sorry blush

mintymellons Wed 27-Feb-13 11:14:25

I like CTM, but last Sunday's episode was a bit lame - the dying old man, the pregnant daughter, the TB saga. Just didn't really enjoy it much.

ppeatfruit Wed 27-Feb-13 12:25:02

You need a bit of blood and gore do you minty? grin

happyfrogger Wed 27-Feb-13 12:33:33

Well I shall defo be watching this week as my baby girl is in the next episode!

AmberLeaf Wed 27-Feb-13 12:35:18

There seems to have been less births in the last couple? I think there was one episode with no births at all? maybe the trixy attempted rape episode?

Re hospital/home births, there were also dedicated maternity hopsitals, not sure what the average class of users were but my WC Nanny had her first baby in one in the mid 30s, she said you stayed for one week, she did tell me how much it cost but I have forgotten and she died years ago.

She said she went in one because it was her first birth, I got the impression she was very proud that my grandad could pay for it [although I imagine it involved scrimping] so maybe it was more of a MC thing?

Her other three children were born at home, quite possibly due to lack of money but probably because she was needed at home to look after the older children.

She also told me about my Dads birth at home in the middle of an air raid in 1943, she mentioned a midwife being there, I wonder what that set up was because it was obviously pre NHS?

AmberLeaf Wed 27-Feb-13 12:36:19

Wow happyfrogger!

Were you on set? any insider info?!

Oodsigma Wed 27-Feb-13 13:03:55

Ooh Star in our midst ( well mother of the star). How old was she? They seem to have some younger ones on it.

Think there's not that many stories left in the books to cover.

gazzalw Wed 27-Feb-13 13:21:12

DW is reading the 'Farewell....' one in the series of four books and she implied that some of the stories have cropped up in this series already...

Can we look out for her happyfrogger ? Would you be happy to tell us which scene she's in and how we can recognise her ? How exciting for you all !
And congratulations BTW thanks

ppeatfruit Wed 27-Feb-13 13:53:45

OOOH yes grin as Juggling said happyfrogger

Oodsigma Wed 27-Feb-13 13:59:29

gazza they have all been muddled together.

peeriebear Wed 27-Feb-13 14:43:58

The character of Chummy is actually toned down for the series. Miranda Hart is perfect for her but a bit too perfect- in the books Chummy is always knocking things over and being very clumsy, but she's not in the series. I think people would have thought the part had been written for Miranda if they had her crashing her bike and dropping teapots!

Ooh yes, thay should get her doing more of that sort of slapstick stuff then peerie grin

ppeatfruit Wed 27-Feb-13 15:12:23

She did fall off her bike more than once when she was learning to ride it at the beginning IIRC peerie

happyfrogger Wed 27-Feb-13 16:45:48

I think it will be fleeting - a couple of scenes where she gets pushed past in a pram and one in the clinic with a lady carrying her around. She's the baby in the yellow cardy (looking up gormlessly at all the set lights!)

No gossip from the set, I only recognised Fred from other stuff as silly me hadn't seen the first series before we went! But it was a fun day out, with lots of people cooing over DD!

happyfrogger Wed 27-Feb-13 16:46:31

Oh about 7 months but a chubby one grin

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 27-Feb-13 16:48:21

I was thinking when I watched the baby show one that they must have use so many baby models. Do you think they ever repeat babies? Or would we notice?!

We'll be looking out for her in her yellow cardie smile
I would have loved to do that envy !

where do they get the constant stream of newborns from? they do look pretty new...

Tansie Wed 27-Feb-13 18:52:33

One thing I've definitely noticed, over the years, is how newborn the newborns appear to be now, compared with, say 20 years ago. I still recall my mother harrumphing on the sofa next to me as we sat through a TV birth 'THAT baby's at least 6 months old!' grin

I shall be yellow cardie spotting!

there was an article in the paper a couple of weeks ago by the director saying that they are not older than 2 weeks as they lose thier crinkled look by then.
There are parents signing up when pregnant to offer their babies for filming once born grin

WhatNow2013 Wed 27-Feb-13 20:37:08

I'm a midwife and I am pretty sure from what I've been told that they recruit from the local maternity units! Babies do lose their crinkled squashed look pretty quickly so it's good that they use proper newborns.

My Granny was a midwife and nurse 'on the district' at the time CTM is set and she said the books were an accurate description of what it was like. Also re Chummy- of course me and a lot of my friends read the books a long time before it was dramatised and everyone I know has always said 'if they made it into a TV series Miranda Hart should play Chummy' so I think she really is just perfect typecasting!

In regards to the midwives getting so close to the action: Midwives nowadays tend to be a bit more hands off (and squeamish in my opinion about getting too close!) but when you think that the only way to listen to baby's heartbeat was with a Pinards stethoscope (the ear trumpet thing) midwives would have been used to getting quite close to the women. I still use a Pinards and make sure my students learn to do it too. It's a vital skill... however a lot of my clients do laugh about it!

(You should listen with Pinards because electronic monitors can 'double' the maternal heart rate and think you're listening to baby when you're actually listening to mum. With a Pinards you are actually hearing the baby's heart rate. You can also use this to help determine position of baby as you can generally only hear clearly through baby's shoulders, so you won't hear it low down if baby is breech, for instance).

PennyBrowne Wed 27-Feb-13 20:56:35

Personally, I'm in love with the programme- although it may have something to do with the fact I adore Miranda Hart, not forgetting the Fifties!

stubbornstains Thu 28-Feb-13 08:52:22

I love the dressing gowns, myself. No pink fluffy towelling or stupid cartoon characters in sight. Why can't we get lovely print dressing gowns nowadays?

stubbornstains Thu 28-Feb-13 08:55:01

And yes LRD I too find the Jimmy/Jenny storyline really annoying. It must be actually illegal to have a prime time TV programme without a love interest storyline....

ppeatfruit Thu 28-Feb-13 09:16:19

Interesting thoughts from RL midwives esp. about the Pinards fascinating! thanks !

Comparing CTM with the midwives that were at my own 3 births in hospital it seems that now (well in the 80s actually grin) they seemed to be less experienced and too ready to use 'speed up the process' drugs. I understand that they weren't available in the 50s but the odd midwife who was hands on was SOOO much better.

BoffinMum Thu 28-Feb-13 14:38:34

The mw that delivered my first trained in that era and she had all the 'old skills'. She had seen it all. A real 'wise woman', which is kind of what you want, isn't it?

BoffinMum Thu 28-Feb-13 14:42:11

There were houses in this village without bathrooms until the late 1990s, by the way.

Martha, people were slimmer because they walked more but also because they didn't snack as much as we do.

I am always amazed at how much cake they all ate though.

There are still houses without bathrooms - my mates when I was at university rented a house that had the shower and loo in an outhouse, and that was 2004!

we went to look at a house last year and the outside loo and washroom (converted coalshed) were connected to the house by some corrogated plastic roofing sheets (no sides) so that you could come and go without getting wet smile
no planning would be given for building it in and there was no room in the tiny 2 up 2 down to add a bathroom anywhere else.

BertieBotts Thu 28-Feb-13 20:49:36

My bathroom is a tiny extension on the back of the house, again tiny Victorian 2 up 2 down here.

Tansie Thu 28-Feb-13 20:59:10

As a child, neither of my grandparents' homes had an indoor bathroom! (Rural Cornwall).

One was a council house where the council converted one of the 3 upstairs bedrooms into a bathroom (ooh! the luxury!) so at night, one didn't have to remember which of the rickety wooden doors out on the patio lead to the loo and which to the coal-shed... but my other grandad lived in an isolated, old, old cottage that had 16th century origins. Thick thatch, cobbles on earth floors and the upstairs floor was cut from the same oak, its lines swooping and buckled along with the growth of the original tree! He had a hand pump to draw water from a well outside til I was 10! A persistent skin rash and a persistent GP who blamed contamination of the ground water forced the council, eventually, to lay on 'mains water' to the house, but he never had 'hot water on tap'! He had 'a scullery' which was half buried in the soil, beyond the 4' cobb walls. It was damp, dank and smelly, so as kids, when we stayed, we'd troop up to his sister's council house up on 'The Green' where she'd charge my mum 50p a bath! grin

That grandad's house had an outhouse down a muddy, dark, country lane, the loo a deep pit filled with Jeyes Fluid, that night-soil men emptied every month! ; the seat a plank of wood with a hole cut in it, a good 20m from the house, (yes, past the coal shed!). As you can imagine, us primary schoolers weren't that keen on grabbing a torch and setting out into the wind and rain lashed pitch black, trees thrashing in the wind all around us, wind howling through the eaves to relieve ourselves in an unlit, spider strewn, chemical fume-house of an outdoor loo, alone at night. So we had porcelain chamber pots.... that smelled the room out by day break! It was such an 'other' experience for us kids I could never understand how, latterly, we'd spend just a day with that grandad then head off 50 miles to spend the rest of the week with the other one, with the bathroom, but, as a mum myself,. now... I get it.

MustTidyUpMustTidyUp Thu 28-Feb-13 22:58:12

I loved that tansie!smile

LaVolcan Fri 01-Mar-13 08:25:13

Tansie you bring back memories too for me, of visiting a friend in the Peak District, early Seventies, living in a house which didn't have mains drainage. The loo was a chemical one in a shed at the end of the garden. I always made sure that I went at home before going to visit her. Urgh! It didn't seem to bother her though, although she now lives in a house with three loos.

AmberLeaf Fri 01-Mar-13 09:48:43

Wow Tansie! how long ago was that?

I vaguely remember an outside loo at either my grandparents or great aunts house. I hated using it because of all the spiders or cobwebs at least!

I remember it was converted into a sort of shed once they'd had an 'inside lav' put in.

AmberLeaf Fri 01-Mar-13 09:49:13

Love how this thread has turned out smile

Tansie Fri 01-Mar-13 11:39:24

It would have been until 1977 when my grandad died!

My mums' older sister moved in with her dad in that cottage for 6 months with 2 children, one a baby in (cloth) nappies in 1965, <shudder> grin

AmberLeaf Fri 01-Mar-13 11:41:35

Omg! goes to show how lucky we are these days!

ppeatfruit Fri 01-Mar-13 11:42:20

I always remember being shocked by my friend's late Victorian terraced North London house which had no bathroom (just a tin bath which lived under a wooden drainer in their kitchen\scullery. I didn't dare ask her about her toilet shock. This was in the early 60s

CinnabarRed Fri 01-Mar-13 14:38:24

I've just finshed reading the Mrs Jenkins chapters of the first book.

It was 1916 that she had the industrial accident that meant that she couldn't support her family any longer.

In 1916 her baby died of starvation, and she had to weigh down his tiny body in an orange box and drop him in the Thames because she couldn't afford a funeral.

In 1916 she took her remaining 5 children to the workhouse. Her three children under 5 years old were separated from the oldest boy (9 years), the oldest girl (10 years) and their mother. She never saw them again.

In 1920 the last of her 5 children died in the workhouse.

Less than a century ago.

BangOn Fri 01-Mar-13 16:19:37

i read the first book 3 years ago when dd2 was on the way. could only ever picture Chummy as Miranda Hart at the time.

For those who are saying 'yes but we had the nhs then'. The health service was in its infancy, if you'll excuse the pun. the doctors & midwives were struggling to fix what hundreds of years of private, unregulated 'healthcare' had done to the poor, & obviously, modern medicine still had a long way to go. A hundred & & fify years from now, when no-one living remembers the NHS & our decendents are having families if ten or more because of high infant mortality rates, perhaps some kind soul will come along & reinvent the wheel. that's the most optimistic thought i can contemplate when i think of the future of public services right now.

BoffinMum Fri 01-Mar-13 16:27:03

I think that's a good point. There are many vested interests involved in attempting to privatise the NHS through the back door, but you only have to look at the appalling health of the poor in the US, combined with rising infant mortality rates, to see what it would be like not to have a proper health service. They spend a lot more than we do in total but get less for their money collectively. And they bitch about what they call 'socialised medicine'? hmm

Think Staffordshire was bad? Multiply that by about 100 and that is how abysmal healthcare would be for the majority of people who happened to be out of work or ruled out from private insurance because they had pre-existing health conditions.

Don't get me wrong, I think a bit of minor private competition to the NHS is a good thing as it keeps it looking at standards and structures self-critically, but anything more than the most token private sector in this country would make me very concerned indeed.

LaVolcan Fri 01-Mar-13 17:33:35

I think the USA's maternal mortality rate is poor too - something like 40th on the list of developed countries. What is worse it's probably an underestimate; there is no consistency in reporting deaths between States, so someone could have died from a complication of childbirth, but because the birth was some weeks earlier, it wouldn't go on the form as the cause.

MonthlyHoliday Fri 01-Mar-13 18:55:11

amber leaf I am sure that if you have a home birth even now there is a 'flying squad' on standby! I remember a friend telling me about it when she had a HB about 7-8 years ago.

Sorry that is just bollocks urban myth. The flying squad on stand by is dialling 999 and asking for an ambulance for either mother or baby. This was told to my friend by her home-birth militant friend, that when you have a home birth an ambulance waits on the corner of your street for the entire labour just in case. She booked in for a home birth until the midwife told her that (during giggling) that no dear, there aren't enough ambulances for that. Now working as a midwife she's embarrassed for believing that during her early training!!

AmberLeaf Fri 01-Mar-13 19:10:45

No it isn't bollocks or an urban myth.

I didn't say or think that it meant there was an ambulance on stand by at the end of your rd!

That is what the midwife called it, I assume it meant that 'they' would be aware of a homebirth happening should the need for transportation arise.

I know that the old style 'flying squad' of obstetrician etc coming to your home is no more, maybe it is just a term that was still used?

In the event my friend was taken in due to shoulder dystocia and a very large baby. As far as I know it was a regular ambulance and paramedics and the two midwives who were at her home already.

But that was definitely what the midwife referred to it as.

LaVolcan Fri 01-Mar-13 23:40:18

I am sure that the old flying squads got disbanded sometime in the 1980s.

I think it varies from locality to locality as to what sort of back up the ambulance service provides these days. I think in some areas the midwives can say they need an ambulance and one will be sent, but in others they have to go through the same procedure as an ordinary member of the general public would. No first hand experience of this - just what I have read.

AmberLeaf Fri 01-Mar-13 23:51:14

Yes I think the traditional styled flying squads went out ages ago.

mrsjay Sat 02-Mar-13 17:58:16

I know im late but I just watched Sundays this afternoon the tears just kept falling I didnt even get any warning sad what a moving episode
I really think CTM is the best thing the BBC has produced in years, I was gripped today and felt drained after watching it <wibble> poor sister Bernadette

landrover Sat 02-Mar-13 18:31:42

I was highly amused a couple of episodes back when jenny was working in the hospital. A man in a hospital bed was told off for smoking! " you know you are only allowed to smoke during visiting hours!" Ash tray sat on his table, soo amazing how things were!

I loved the uniforms in that episode too. Norman Hartnell. My nurses dressing up set looked a bit like that when I was little.
I really want Sister Bernadette to survive and marry the doctor.

stubbornstains Sun 03-Mar-13 10:46:29

I guess obstetric flying squads really aren't needed any more now that we have fast ambulances and midwives in cars! I just loved the idea, and the name....

By the way, a radical hippy friend of mine did have an ambulance sat outside her house during the whole of her labour....with twins. (There was also a gap of an hour between the 2 births, which apparently is a complete no-no, and her partner spent most of that period comforting the midwife! Mother and both babies were absolutely fine, thankfully).

BoffinMum Sun 03-Mar-13 15:22:50

We had to put the hospital on alert when I had DC4, as I have been on a lot of opiates during the pregnancy, and there was a risk of depressed respiration in the newborn, which would have required medication pretty urgently. Otherwise I think the feeling is generally that it's better to transfer someone rapidly in the care of paramedics than attempt to faff about with obstetric procedures at home without the proper equipment, etc.

A fabulous episode yesterday.

LadyApricot Mon 04-Mar-13 22:08:38

Loved every episode so far and last nights was fantastic. Have not watched an episode without crying yet though!

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